Criminals Aren’t the Only “Dumb” People in Court

My criminal law professor started each class by bellowing: “Criminals Are Stupid.”  He then shared a dumb-criminal account from the media. This is one reason criminal defense attorneys are reluctant to put their clients on the witness stand during trial.  The experienced prosecutor can’t wait to cross-examine them.  As a young prosecutor, I was prepared … Continue reading Criminals Aren’t the Only “Dumb” People in Court

Caught and Convicted Because of His Misspelled Tattoo

I was involved in the prosecution of a serial rape case.  The “perp” wore a knit ski mask making eye witness identification impossible.  (This was before DNA).  As he was committing the crime, the victim noticed a homemade prison tattoo on the inside of his bicep. The tattoo stuck in her mind because it said, … Continue reading Caught and Convicted Because of His Misspelled Tattoo

More Dumb Criminals

Juvenile Burglars with Stocking Hands I prosecuted a couple of teenagers for attempted residential burglary. As a police officer was driving down a residential road while on routine patrol, he noticed a new bicycle lying on its side on the sidewalk. He was an experienced officer with keen instincts. He knew that school was in … Continue reading More Dumb Criminals

More Entertaining Dumb Criminals

"We don't catch the smart ones." “Dumb and Dumber” and “Dumbest” Under California’s “three strikes” law at the time, if a defendant committed two serious or violent felonies in the past, if he commits a new felony, no matter how minor, he faces a mandatory 25 years to life in prison.  (Some California DA’s Offices … Continue reading More Entertaining Dumb Criminals